Travel Weeklys Ireland E-letter: March 3, 2005

BIRTHDAY BONUS: Brian Moore International Tours (BMIT) is marking 30 years of business with $130 per person discounts on air-inclusive escorted tours of seven nights or more booked by March 17. BMIT prices start from a low of $769 (land only) for the seven-night Irish Spree. For more information, contact Ronan Ryan at [email protected] or (800) 982-2299, ext.1405. Or visit www.bmit.com online.

GALWAY WEEKENDS: The 4-star, 89-room Ardilaun House Hotel in Galway, a Select Hotels of Ireland property, is offering special rates in March. For example, two nights bed and breakfast plus one dinner starts at $225 per person, double, with three nights plus an additional dinner priced at $297, Sundays to Thursdays from March 20 to 31. On St. Patricks and Easter weekends, the two-night deal is $230 per person. Limerick-based Select Hotels pays negotiated commissions, starting at a base rate of 10%. Visit www.selecthotelsireland.com, e-mail to [email protected] or call (011) 353-6 144-0440.

LOVED ONES: Sceptre Tours is peddling family and friends vacations this summer with special condominium, hotel and bed-and-breakfast packages for groups of four. The Friends & Family Condo Vacation includes roundtrip airfare for four, seven nights in a choice of condo, full-sized standard car with unlimited mileage, and sightseeing from only $2,235, net. The condos are in Lahinch, Co. Clare; Killarney, Co. Kerry; Bundoran, Co. Donegal; and Carlow, Co. Carlow. And the Friends & Family B&B Vacations and Friends & Family Hotel Vacations start from $2,829, net, including similar air and car for four, but six nights accommodations; full Irish breakfast daily and a welcome reception in Shannon.  Visit www.sceptretours.com or call (800) 221-0924.

IRELAND AT SEA: Long for Ireland, but dread the weather? Isle Inn Tours will offer Ireland At Sea, an eight-day, Irish-themed cruise through the southern Caribbean, departing Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 28, 2006, on the Carnival Legend. Exclusive onboard entertainment will include the likes of Seamus Kennedy, Cathie Ryan, The Dady Brothers and Ed Miller. Daily on-board activities will include lectures on Irish History, and step-dance and tin-whistle lessons. Ports of call include St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique. For more, visit www.irelandatsea.com or call (800) 237-9376, ext. 11.

WINGING IT: Irish low-fare carrier Ryanair, ordered 140 additional Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with 70 firm orders valued at more than $4 billion and 70 more options. By the end of 2005, the airline -- which now has some 418 Boeing planes on order -- will have taken delivery of about 100 new 737s. Ryanair said the 70 new orders, for delivery between 2008 and 2012, will help it grow by double digits through the last years of this decade. When all aircraft now on order have been delivered, Ryanair expects to carry 70 million passengers per year, making it Europes largest airline. See www.ryanair.com.

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